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Hack Speed & Conserve Energy by Killing Stance by Mark Hatmaker

Before we get into the scientific nitty-gritty, let’s do a little self-experimentation.
I want you to stand up right now and hit ten rapid Hindu Squats [deep-knee bends for the non-grappling minded.]
Did you do it? Ten hard and fast?
Now, let’s self-assess. How do the legs feel?
There is a possibility that the lungs required you to puff a wee bit and the heartrate elevated, but I wager that the low repetition number has not made any fatiguing demands on your legs. They are probably good to go for another ten.
Since the effects we are feeling are not leg fatigue but maybe elevated heart-rate and respiration let’s hit ten more but…
This time I want you to time them in the following manner.
·Rather than ten hard and fast, let’s go leisurely, drop down for Squat 1 and stay there for one solid minute, then return to standing.
·That’s rep one. Continue on down the line for a total of ten.
I wager the majority who submit to the self-experiment will do the first hard fast squats no problem but will b…

Rough ‘n’ Tumble Snapshot: Bad Georgia Road by Mark Hatmaker

The following excerpt is from Whitman Mead’s Travels in North America [1820.]
The author refers to an incident he witnessed in 1817 while travelling though Georgia.
Such gatherings, according to Mead, occurred 2-3 times per week where folks would gather to fellowship, feast, drink, dance, gamble, exchange wares, and often following the ever-present horse-race a public challenge may be issued.
At which time:
A ring is formed, free for anyone to enter and fight…After a few rounds, they generally clinch, throw down, bite and gouge, and the conquered creeps out under the ring as a signal of his submission.”
Mead tells of meeting several past combatants who had noses bitten off, eyes gouged out, and more than a few who had been castrated in such affairs.
Many of these now unsavory tactics were not mere desperation moves in the heat-of-battle but sought for targets-of-acquisition with their own strategy and methods.
[For more Rough & Tumble history see this blog,and for pragmatic applicati…

Rough & Ready Challenge: Kansas Burpees by Mark Hatmaker

Today’s bit of old-school fun takes a conditioning standard and adds the laborious pleasure of hefting sacks of Kansas grain at market time.
·Grab your grain-sack stand-in, make it one of heft, but not so hefty you have to break your reps. We’re looking for solid non-stop work.
·Too heavy, you’ll take too many breaks.
·Too light and we’ll miss all the Farmhand strength benefits of the struggle.
THE PROTOCOL
·Drop and hit your plank to push-up.
·Return to feet.
·Gut-grip the “grain sack” and hoist it to a shoulder.
·Push-press the load overhead.
·Drop it and repeat.
·Alternate shoulders with each rep for balanced strength.
THE GOAL
·50 in just under 10-minutes.
·If it takes longer than 10 you either tip-toed your pace and will get a good dressing-down from the Boss or you gambled too heavy. Correct that mistake next time.

·If you come in around 50-seconds or more under, you gambled too light and went easy on yourself. Rev it up for the next time.
·Aim for a steady-pace that brings it in around that 1…

Hacking Fluid Natural Movement by Mark Hatmaker

Let’s attempt to walk smoothly the following seemingly unlikely path: Dog-Interactions, Successful Camel-Herding, Stalk-Hunting, 19th-Century French Literature, and finally end with an exercise called The Movement Soundtrack.
Some people inspire more negative reactions in dogs than others. Some dogs need a warming-up period so that the dog can learn the newcomer’s place in the hierarchy. Dogs can be slower to respond to those with herky-jerky, un-flowing, or quick body movements. Such movement, whether it be borne of aggression, nervousness, or simply the ingrained movement pattern of the human are read as aggressive or suspect by the dog.
If the dog begins barking [the nervous signal] and the human jerks back or retreats, this triggers the dog’s pursuit mode, the interaction deteriorates. The jerking back or retreat seems to “confirm” that this was an interloper or submissive animal to be dominated; a possible friend or dominant animal would not stand-down so easily.
Conversely, nervou…

Training for Courage: Intensity + Micro-Duration by Mark Hatmaker

The body is a time-machine.
That is, the mind [the currently intangible part of the body] anticipates a future event and the tangible portion of our body [the physiological structure and internal biochemical processes and all their attendant prowess] begins behaving in a direction towards that future state.
To make that clearer, the body while existing in the present is always on the look-out for what “might be on the horizon” and gets to work preparing for that possibility.
We have everything in common with Pavlov’s dogs. They salivated at a bell. We do the very same thing at the viewing of a Chicago deep-dish takeout menu, or the aroma of freshly baked bread, or hearing the smooth pour of a good bourbon in a glass.
We are not yet tasting whatever comestible or tipple it is we have summoned into mind by various bells, but our physiology goes into preparatory tasting mode just the same as those long-dead Russian dogs.
We live in the here and now but allow our thoughts to go to the not here…

A Royal Instance of Robustification by Mark Hatmaker

Alexander I [Aleksandr Pavlovich 1777-1825], was a beloved Russian monarch. At the suggestion of his grandmother Catherine the Great…]
“…he was taught from his early childhood to sleep, lightly covered, with the windows wide open, and a mattress of morocco leather stuffed with hay. He became almost immune to weather, and enjoyed ‘extraordinary health and vitality.’”-Will & Ariel Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 11, page, 677. [The Age of Napoleon]
Keep in mind, this open-window robustification was in Russia.
[For an in-depth historical, cultural, and scientific examination of building cold tolerance and robustification see Cold Tolerance: Warriors,Explorers, the Science by Mark Hatmaker also on this blog.]

A Master Trainer on Training for Toughness by Mark Hatmaker

You’ll have to tolerate a paragraph or two from me before we get to the meat of today’s lesson, some wise words from a Master Trainer on training for robustness.
Who is the Master Trainer I speak of?
Jimmy DeForest.
For those not in the know, Jimmy DeForest was the boxing trainer and conditioning coach for…well, have look at a few of the luminaries he prepared for battle:
·Jack Dempsey
·Stanley Ketchel
·James J. Jeffries
·Joe Gans
·George Dixon
·Joe Walcott
·Kid McCoy
·Tommy Ryan
·Philadelphia Pal Moore
·Jack Sharkey
·Luis Angel Firpo
That is quite a stable of leather-tough, nail-spittin’, hard-hittin’ hombres if there ever was one.
These men all share in common heavy hands, no quit in the tank, and to-the-marrow toughness.
So, what was it that DeForest thought was so important?
Toughness. Robustness.
What is robustness?
It is not merely the conditioning one does [which is all fire important] it is also the circumstances, the environment, the overall “feel” or vibe that training is conducted in.
I…

Wisdom from a WWI Flying Ace by Mark Hatmaker

A change of pace as we look not only to the past for today’s lesson but also to a completely different realm of combat to see if there just may be any advice that is pertinent for the sport of MMA and real-world operator survival.
We’re going to look to strategic advice offered by German flying ace Oswald Boelcke, one of the top (if not the top) innovators and instructors in the Axis’ formidable flying force during the First World War. Boelcke personally chose the legendary young Baron Manfred von Richthofen (the famous/infamous Red Baron) to become his pupil and protégé and coached him to an astonishing string of air victories.
Boelcke was flying at a time when the airmen of both the Axis and Allied powers considered themselves “knights of the air”; they exercised a sort of curious chivalry with courtesies often offered to the opposition. Stories abound of pilots who upon finding their primitive machine guns jammed mid-dogfight receiving a simple salute and fly-away from their advers…

Submissive Signalling: Dogs & Humans by Mark Hatmaker

·Dog Submissive Signals: To keep peace or to be clear about not issuing challenges to hierarchical authority dogs use a variety of behaviors to “keep safe.” It is wise to pay close attention to this species with which we share a symbiotic relationship as there may be something telling in these universal strategies, one we may be unwisely signaling as humans every single day.
·How does a submissive dog act? Our short answer is…Like a puppy.
·Pay close attention here and feel free to substitute human for dog at any point in the mix—the rules of ethology hold.
·“Weak adults in many species of animals adopt juvenile postures or perform infantile actions when they are threatened by a dominant individual. If they lack the courage to match threat with counterthreat and risk engaging in a serious dispute, they resort to the animal equivalent of waving a white flag.”—Desmond Morris
·Notice these, so called value-laden words: “weak adults” “lacking courage” come from the science. They are accurate …